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Street Parade in financial straits

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09:36 CEST+02:00
Zurich's biggest street party will take place on Saturday with the tightest budget yet, with the future of the event in doubt.

The annual Street Parade has only one main sponsor with which to cover 65 percent of the 1.7 million francs ($ 1.75 million) needed for the event. The organisers have made it work this time, although it is tight, and the future of the parade remains in doubt, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

“We have scaled the costs back as far as possible,” said Martin Schorno, the party’s marketing director.

Part of the reason for difficulties in finding sponsorship has been that the event does not coincide well with advertisers’ schedules, most of whom aim to launch products in autumn, rather than late summer.

In addition, the many open-air festivals on offer around Switzerland provide stiff competition for sponsors' money, with the backdrop of the economic crisis not making things any easier.

There is also a sense that the parade has lost its underground flavour, earned during the 90s, when companies were keen to be associated with the event. The only remaining sponsor is a medical laboratory in Zurich, Medica: the kind of brand not usually associated with youth culture.

“The Street Parade brand is licked,” René Alleman from Branders, a Zurich branding agency, told the newspaper.

But Schorno insists that the lack of sponsorship has nothing to do with image.

“The interest is still huge,” Schorno said.

Some 425,000 francs ($ 437,662) are needed for personnel, 544,000 francs ($ 560,180) for infrastructure and 510,000 francs ($ 525,000) to pay for permits and other costs claimed by the authorities. The organizers have been trying for several years to reduce this last sum, but the city is sticking to its guns.

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